Europe to inspire our city infrastructure planning

By ECD (Electrical+Comms+Data) Staff
Thursday, 09 February, 2017

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor has travelled to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to support delivery of the government’s cities and digital agenda.

The UK and Netherlands are both well advanced in delivering policies close to those of the Australian Government, including City Deals, use of new technologies in our cities, private sector financing and the broader digital government agenda.

The visit included a meeting with Dutch Government representatives and the local tech sector to secure their involvement in smart cities planning in Australia and their close engagement in delivery of Australia’s new Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The visit supported delivery of the Western Sydney City Deal this year, learning from the success of integrated planning around Schiphol Airport City.

Taylor, who will be overseeing establishment of the federal government’s new Financing Unit, said Australia was looking to apply new financing models to city infrastructure planning which were already well developed in the UK. 

“The UK began doing City Deals in its regional cities in 2011, and there is a lot to learn from its experience,” Taylor said.

“The UK has adopted new approaches to building smart cities — funding partnerships with the private sector, increasing housing supply through higher density development near railway stations and integration of industry, particularly tertiary education, into early-stage planning for city growth.”

City Deals need to accelerate housing supply in the right locations, close to good jobs, transport and services, to ensure Australian cities continue to be the most liveable in the world. Integrated planning, reform and investment are central to the success of these deals.

“Building on the launch of our Smart Cities Agenda, signing our first City Deal in Townsville and the formation of the Digital Transformation Agency, we are strongly focused on delivery.

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